Wolf Den State Park work day volunteers wanted 2.29.2020

This offer is only extended to paying MDOHVA members only. We are looking for volunteers to come and help clear the trails of winter deadfall for a day at the end of February. We will be on the existing open parcel, and heading into new not yet open sections as well. Spots are first come first go basis and only available to paying members. Come prepared to WORK for most of the day. If you know someone else interested in coming, they can join and send an email to president@mdohvalliance.org to request all the final information and reserve your spot! Sign up today at http://mdohvalliance.org/join/

Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking Designed To Shorten Environmental Reviews (NEPA) Issued

From NOHVCC

Earlier this month the Council on Environmental Quality issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking –Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This proposed rulemaking is intended to “…revise and modernize… NEPA regulations to facilitate more efficient, effective, and timely NEPA reviews by Federal agencies.”

As many in the OHV community are aware, NEPA reviews can often be time consuming endeavors which can produce reports hundreds of pages in length.  The proposed changes are intended to “…advance the original goals of the CEQ regulations to reduce paperwork and delays, and promote better decisions consistent with the national environmental policy…”

NOHVCC encourages everyone in the OHV community to take a look at the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and submit comments to encourage a reduction in paperwork and reporting required under NEPA while still ensuring that resources remain adequately protected.

Comments are due March 10, 2020. 

NOHVCC staff just wanted to alert you early in the process so that you will have adequate time to review the notice.  We will work together with other interested parties and will provide opportunities to weigh in, sample comments and other information as this process moves forward.

Wolf Den Run Opens July 15th 2019

Its official, Wolf Den Run, Huckleberry Rocks parcel (Parcel A) will open this coming Monday, July 15th.

Here’s what you need to know
-Reservations need to be made through Harrington Manor via phone
-Park Entrance fee is $10
-Limit of approximately 50 vehicles per day, passengers are not included in this number
-All trails will fit an ATV or SxS
-Roughly half or more of the trails will fit a full seized vehicle
-12.5 +/- miles of mostly dual direction trails

Remember this is the first step towards a multi parcel trail system. More is to come!

2nd Wolf Den Run State Park open house

The second Wolf Den Run State Park open house, held on January, 26th 2019 at the Greenbrier State Park Headquarters, was just as successful as the previous one.  As we expected, OHV enthusiasts turned out in force and there was standing room only. DNR reviewed the the current status and proposed way forward with a master park plan. DNR remains committed to opening the Park as soon as possible using existing trails however, the access bridge still remains a major issue. They are currently looking at various options to access the property in the absence of a permanent bridge.

Standing room only! Great turnout by OHV enthusiasts.

To all of those who have attended these open houses and responded to the online survey, THANK YOU! The State now more fully understands how strong of a force our community can be. They are listening to our survey responses and understand our desire to have the park opened as soon as possible, and to do so with camping!

James Ratino Named President of MDOHVA

Organization’s new leader looks forward to expanding off-road riding opportunities in Maryland.

The Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance, Inc. (MDOHVA) is pleased to announce that James Ratino has been named president of the organization
effective January 1st, 2019. A board member for the past year, James is an experienced and effective advocate for motorized recreation of all kinds in Maryland. He has been riding dirt bikes with family and friends since age 10, has raced in many hare scrambles, and is a long-time member of a local motocross club.

“James has a strong drive to advocate for all enthusiasts of off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation, including those who enjoy riding on ATV trails, technical single-track motorcycle trails, full-size 4×4 rock crawls, and motocross tracks,” said Ken Kyler, organization president. 

James is a graduate of Frostburg State University, with a degree in Physics and Engineering, and brings to the post of MDOHVA president many years of experience in commercial construction management. Over the years, he has hosted rides on his family’s private property in western Maryland that were open to dirt bikes, ATVs, multi-passenger side-by-sides, and full-size 4×4 vehicles.

The Maryland OHV Alliance, Inc. is a state-wide body of OHV recreation enthusiasts. It advocates for responsible OHV recreation and resource protection by working in partnership with private and public land managers and recreation planners; provides and promotes best management practices for OHV recreation planning, development and management to policy makers; promotes a positive OHV recreation image to all publics; and emphasizes the benefits of responsible recreation behavior and raise awareness of the impacts from irresponsible recreation activity.

Since its founding, the MDOHVA has been successful at advocating for ORV recreation resulting in the MD DNR building the St. John’s ORV Trail and Campground in the Savage River State Forest, and more recently supporting DNR’s acquisition of land for the Wolf Den State Park near Kitzmiller which will be the State’s first ORV State Park.

Wolf Den Run State Park Open House – January 26, 2019

UPDATE: The second Wolf Den Run State Park open house is scheduled for January, 26th 2019 from 10am-12pm at the Greenbrier State Park Headquarters, 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713

Previously the Maryland Park Service hosted an open house on, October 20, 2018, in Kitzmiller, MD. Similar to the first open house, staff will be available to answer questions regarding the property and provide stations to solicit feedback/comments on topics such as trails, hunting, infrastructure, amenities, operations and camping.

Before coming to the open house, visitors should review a consultant’s assessment of the existing Wolf Den Run trail network and/or take a DNR OHV Users survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PXGGVPF

Further reading at http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/western/Wolf-Den-Run.aspx

Wolf Den Run State Park — First Look!

A limited group of local residents and MDOHVA members were invited to a workday and preview of the new Wolf Den State Park.  Here’s a few pictures.  Be sure to come to the Open House October 20th and please read the trail assessment first.

A huge thanks to Andrew Taylor, CORE 4×4 President, for the following video.

OHV TRAIL SYSTEM ASSESSMENT

The MDOHVA, using grants from Polaris Industries and the Maryland DNR, contracted with Applied Trails Research to conduct an initial assessment of the new Wolf Den Run State Park for OHV use.  This report is a lead-in to the formal planning process.

I’ll share a few highlights.

Wolf Den Run State Park is a new addition to the Maryland State Park system. The Park is comprised of three parcels (referred to as Parcels A – C and shown on the Inventory Maps at the end of the report). In total, the Wolf Den Run State Park property includes more than 66 miles of OHV routes that were collected by GPS during a three-day assessment of the property in May, 2018. The purpose of the project was to 1) develop a general trail inventory, 2) assess the existing conditions and potential sustainability of the trail system on these new State-owned parcels, and 3) provide baseline recommendations on moving forward with the formal development of the properties into a desirable outdoor recreation destination.

The entire report is at the link below.  The conclusion is

Wolf Den Run State Park can be an important State Park and desirable outdoor recreation destination. Given the industrial land use history and informal but relatively heavy OHV recreation use, this redevelopment process could be viewed through the lens of a recreation-focused environmental restoration. Runoff could be managed on many of the existing routes to mitigate potential sedimentation impacts, perennial streams could be better protected by improved crossings at all culverts and bridges, and redundant routes could be closed and restored to improve navigability. A number of local challenges will need to be overcome, including trespass, camping/hunting, and historic “ownership”, but if completed diligently, the Park could receive broad community support around the region.

Click here to download the report: Wolf Den Run OHV Assessment

Kitzmiller Update

Dangerous bridge

Accident waiting to happen

The MDOHVA is closely following the status of the new Wolf Den State Park (in Kitzmiller). We recently met with Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff who reaffirmed their promise to open the park as early as possible. DNR is currently reviewing a feasibility study of the existing trails on the property to determine which trails could be opened to the public before a formal Park opening. One of the biggest obstacles that DNR faces are unsafe bridges on the property, specifically the bridge at the end of Shallmar Rd that users must cross in order to get to trail head parking. DNR is currently investigating options to expedite the repair of the existing bridgees, or use of a temporary bridge, to provide safe access. DNR is making good progress and the MDOHVA is actively involved. Thank you for your patience and support!

Updated: Below are pictures of the bridge at the end of Shallmar Road.  This is the main access route.  Below that are pictures of the bridge at Parcel B.

Here are pictures of the bridge at Parcel B:

Off–Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund Legislation Passed!

On 15 May 2018, Governor Hogan signed Senate Bill 606 which was introduced by Senator Edwards at the request of the Maryland Motorcycle Dealers Association (MMDA) and the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (MDOHVA). It creates, within DNR, an Off–Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund and transfers roughly $750,000 per year from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) to the trail fund. Further, it fences those funds so that they can only be used for ORV trails! Those funds come from the Title Tax we all pay when any ATV, SxS, dirt bike, etc are purchased within Maryland. The MMDA has been working for over a decade to get that money transferred to DNR where it belongs. Until now, those funds were used to maintain highways!  The MDOHVA is proud to have been able to assist in this.

This is HUGE! A common problem in getting trails built on public lands is the lack of funds to build and maintain them. With this legislation, the funding issue has disappeared. This was a great day for all ORV enthusiasts.